Land title fraud occurs in many ways. Areas most affected are Muyonyo, Namugongo, Bweyogerere, Kulambiro, Kyanja, Muyenga and Bunga. The most common tricks used by fraudsters are:
- Where a fraudster manages to have a duplicate title issued, when in fact the original is still in existence. This type of fraud may occur with the cooperation of unethical officers in a number of Government offices.
- Where unscrupulous persons arrange for the issuance of title documents on land that is otherwise not available for sale. In this category you find forged title documents issued on road reserves, forests, environmentally fragile land, and Government land.
- Where unscrupulous persons offer land for purchase on the strength of forged title documents.
- Where dishonest persons take advantage of naive purchasers and proceed to offer them land for purchase yet it belongs to Ugandan’s in the Diaspora. The sellers, pose as Land Agents, to con unsuspecting buyers, yet in actual sense targeted land is not on sale.
- Where forgery of transfer documents is used to effect the sale of land by unscrupulous persons.
- Where sale of land is done during the dry season without informing prospective purchaser that the land offered for sale is in a wetland / swamp. Some Land Agents take their clients to plots on higher grounds when in actual sense the land for sale is in a swamp. The buyer only discovers after paying when he/she wants to begin development. At this moment, the Agent’s phone contact is no longer in use.
Tips to beat the fraudsters: A prospective land purchaser should:
- Visit the land and physically inspected it.
- Talk to all the neighbours in the vicinity of the land in order to confirm that the purported seller is in fact the rightful owner. If there are any disputes, do not buy.
- Meet the actual owner of land and not merely his / her purported agents. Come with him / her or a representative to the Land registry to verify the land in question.
- Hire a registered Advocate to act on your behalf in the land transaction, as the acquisition of land is a technical legal process.
- Consult a reputable Valuer or our Government Valuers to establish a fair market value for the parcel of land on offer. Property offered for sale at throw away prices and in a great hurry may not always be genuine. The buyer should insist on seeing the original land title and should bring it to the Land registry for verification before money changes hands. In case of any inquiries on land call the Ministry of lands Housing & Urban Development helplines: 0414 340250 or 0414 373510. You will be assisted and /or advised.
For: PERMANENT SECRETARY